A blueprint that points the way towards long-term economic prosperity for one of the country’s boom areas has been unveiled. The South Derbyshire Economic Development Strategy 2016-20 focuses on the local economy, attracting inward investment, boosting tourism, town centre growth and maximising opportunities presented by The National Forest.
It also commits to maintain the success of the manufacturing sector, accommodating high levels of forecast population growth and meeting challenges such as changing shopping habits, shortcomings in broadband connectivity and pockets of deprivation.
This will be achieved by initiatives such as providing business support and advice, addressing employability barriers, raising young people’s aspirations and improving infrastructure.
Building on the success of major attractions like the annual Swadlincote Jobs and Skills Fair, continuing to develop a markets and events programme and helping to facilitate the growth of small and large companies will all be central to achieving its aims.
Frank McArdle, Chief Executive of South Derbyshire District Council, said: “Our Economic Development Strategy is a crucial document in that it addresses in detail how we propose to achieve ‘Progress,’ which is one of the four themes at the centre of the Council’s Corporate Plan.”
Cllr Bob Wheeler, leader of the District Council, said: “We have achieved much already, but our promise is to continue to help grow and diversify a strong local economy to keep South Derbyshire well and truly open for business.
“This is so important in an area with high population growth and transport links that make it an attractive proposition to employers of all sizes.
“Our vision for the District is to create a more prosperous, better connected, increasingly resilient and competitive economy that will make it a better place to live, work and visit at the heart of The National Forest.”
The Economic Development Strategy 2016-20 can be viewed on the Council’s website at www.south-derbys.gov.uk/business
Photo: SDDC Chief Executive Frank McArdle, Cllr Peter Watson, members of SDDC’s Economic Development Team, the South Derbyshire Business Advice Service and Odeon Cinema staff at the launch of the Economic Development Strategy 2016-20.